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Bad News

Discussion in 'Outreach Forum' started by danmarino, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    First, let me just say that I'm not asking for sympathy or anything like that. The main reason I'm posting this here is in the hopes that I may be able to help someone down the line.

    The bad news: On Tuesday I was diagnosed with skin cancer. The dermatologist cut off a few lesions (and when I say lesions I mean things so small I never really noticed them) right then and there after inspecting me. However, and due to many more on my face and arms (again, not really noticeable to the naked eye) he said I will have to go through a round of chemo.

    The good news: The cancer is not melanoma so it is highly treatable and not nearly as aggressive. Also, the chemo is something called Efudex which is topical and not systemic. So no hair loss, etc that people usually think of with chemo. However, I will most likely go through around 2 months of extreme pain, unsightliness, and fatigue. Here are some pictures of people using Efudex:

    upload_2018-6-14_7-40-25.png
    upload_2018-6-14_7-40-45.png
    upload_2018-6-14_7-41-7.png

    Basically, what this chemo does is melt the entire top layer of skin off. The body will then, hopefully, start anew with fresh, non-cancerous, skin and I'll look 10 years younger! lol


    So, I'm 44 years old, have 5 young kids and a wife. I was born and raised in Florida, have Irish and Scottish heritage. Always fished, surfed, sailed, sunbathed, etc, etc....I always thought, I'll be OK and rarely used sunscreen. This treatment is better than the alternative, but boy do I wish I'd used more sunscreen and covered up in the sun more. So all you young guys/gals, no matter your skin tone/color, take care of your skin!
     
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  2. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yikes, get better, my man! I had wuss skin cancer, a basal cell carcinoma, so I am probably on path to need something like that too. Dang viking heritage! I have had a friend go through that, and it wasn’t fun, but he said it was worse than it looked also. I hope so...I’ll be praying for you to have a quick recovery!
     
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  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Just a Guy Club Member

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    Get better man! Best wishes on a total and quick recovery.

    Solid advice on staying out of the sun and/or being careful. I've never been one to enjoy it, and I've even worn exercise shirts in the pool or ocean since my early 20s. I worry for my sister and a few other family members who not only spend their lives in the sun, but even still use tanning beds.
     
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  4. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I hope you meant to write it looked worse than it was? lol....

    But yeah, I've been reading where some people are able to get by with taking Advil, but some people need pain patches and stuff. I hope I'm one of the former people.

    And thanks for the prayers!
     
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  5. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I've never used a tanning bed, but mainly because I lived in Florida. lol....Show your sister these pictures. It may scare here enough to stay out of those things.

    Thanks for the well wishes.
     
  6. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Hahahaha whoops, yes I did mean to write what you said!!! Ha!!!

    It looked worse than it actually felt.
     
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  7. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    My best wishes and prayers to you.

    My Dad had skin carcinomas and my uncle (his brother) died from metastatic melanoma. I understand your caution and have regular skin checks myself.

    I am glad to hear of the newest treatment. While very hard on you, the reports on it are very encouraging. Again best wishes and my prayers.
     
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  8. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Sorry to hear about your uncle. I was extremely happy to hear that non of the cancer is melanoma.

    Thanks for your prayers.
     
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  9. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Staff Member Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Damn dude, sorry to hear the bad news. Hopefully you get well soon.
     
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  10. Fin-O

    Fin-O Initiated Club Member

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    Just saw this..

    Hope this post finds you recovering well.
     
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  11. invid

    invid Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Wishing the best for you, Dan!
     
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  12. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm on day 3 of the treatment. I had a vacation planned and waited until after to start.

    So far I have some mild itching and redness. I was told that it may take 5-7 days before I start having some of the more intense side effects. My dermatologist wants me to apply the Efudex twice per day for 28 days. He wants to see me after 14 days of treatment because he said there's a chance I may be able to stop then. It all depends on how much of my skin is effected and how bad.

    Thanks for the well wishes. I'll keep you all updated on my progress.
     
  13. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks for keeping us updated. You remain in my prayers!
     
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  14. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Today is day 7 and man what a difference 24 hrs makes on this stuff.

    Yesterday I had a few red spots on my face and my face felt wind burned or slightly sunburned with no heat. Overall not really noticeable to other people or uncomfortable.

    I woke up this morning and the redness has increased, a lot more red spots, and the slight sunburn has turned into a slightly painful burn. When I open my mouth or smile my face feels really tight. I had to lower the temp of my morning shower because it really stung when too warm. I had to "blot" my face dry or else suffer from the towel scraping my face if I rubbed. And when I applied the Efudex this morning it was slightly painful to rub in. I had been rubbing the cream in until it disappeared, but I found that too painful this morning and let is soak in on it's own. My arms and hands are showing some tiny red spots, but no pain and nothing really noticeable to others. Maybe it's because the skin on the arms are tougher and less sensitive?

    Anyhow, after tonight I will have 14 of the (possible) ~56 treatments down. It could be as few as 28, however, depending on how I respond. I'm hoping for 28. lol
     
  15. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Whelp....2 weeks down.

    And I look like a monster. lol...But I feel even worse. The pain, itching, and throbbing on my face is bearable, but the headaches are intense and driving me crazy. I can't sleep for the most part due to my pounding head. And when I try to eat I get nauseas. I've lost 10lbs in two weeks. lol

    My friends and co-workers have been fantastic and very supportive, but the general public looks at me as if I were contagious. And I don't blame them. I'm actually using this as a teaching tool for my kid's friends and/or any other young person I interact with. Example, I had to go to the grocery store the other day and when going through the checkout the cashier gave me a shocked look. (I typically try to stay indoors except going to and from work. Not only because of my appearance, but the sun is a killer on my face) I said, "Don't worry, I'm not contagious. This is cancer and pre-cancer that is being killed by a chemo cream. Make sure you avoid tanning beds and use sunscreen!" After I said that she was very nice and understanding and told me about her Dad's battle with cancer. I guess he had something pretty aggressive, but he "kicked it's butt". (Her words). So, it could be worse.

    At worst I'm 50% done with the treatment. I see my dermatologist later today and he will tell me if I need to keep doing it or can stop. I think I may have to keep doing it. While my face is raw, red, and painful, it hasn't started to "weep" or "slough" off yet. The dermatologist called this stage "erosion". My face has to start eroding before I stop and I don't think it's there yet, but I'll find out soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  16. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    At least you don't have to walk through the streets yelling, "I am unclean!" :bless:
     
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  17. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    lol...Don't make me laugh! It makes me feel like my face is going to crack open...lol

    Thank you!


    Also, I have 2 more weeks to go. :(
     
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  18. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yesterday, while at work, a huge crack appeared on the side of my face and started bleeding and oozing plasma. I called the Dr. and he asked if I could come in after work. I saw him yesterday and he said that my treatment had progressed faster than he thought it would. So, I get to stop the cream this Saturday. Which is about 5 days sooner than originally planned. Thank God. This sucks.

    Wear your sunscreen people.
     
  19. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    With your description, I guess I am glad I am your friend via online and not the poor schmuck in the cube next to you! Seriously, you remain in my prayers. While it sounds horrible, it is also what is supposed to be happening, correct? Thus we will give thanks for the treatment and the chance for future health.
     
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  20. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    lol...I'm just glad I'm not scrubbing up for procedures anymore. The mask, gloves and gown would be unbearable.

    But yes, what's happening to my face is what is supposed to happen and will, hopefully, cure me. :)
     
  21. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Dude....holy <you know what>. I'm so sorry to hear that but at least it was caught early enough before it's a serious problem. Feel free to PM me if you ever need to talk. I just saw that you're not "scrubbing up" anymore....does that mean you took the promotion into the administrative side of things?

    <edit> I just read through everything so I'm caught up. Good luck man...that's absolutely terrible, but remember that it could be 1,000 times worse with a different type of cancer. As least you caught this sooner rather than later.

    Dumb question- are you still growing facial hair during the treatment, or does it slow/stop the stubble? Do you actually have to shave each day? That sounds freaking unbearable!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
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  22. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thanks Key...It's been rough, but I've been through worse.

    My facial hair did not stop growing. Initially I thought I'd just let it grow out. However, the itch was unbearable and the cream was too difficult to get through the hair to my face. I ended up shaving 2 x per week and it was a slow, painful, tedious process, but I got through it.

    Yesterday was my last day of applying the medicine. This morning I've covered my face and arms in vaseline and it took some of the burning and tightness away, but my face itches horribly. I've read that the first 3-5 days after stopping is really difficult due to burning and itching. So far I agree.
     
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  23. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    That's terrible...I really feel for you. At least you're on the way down the mountain though and you'll get to some actual healing in the weeks ahead. We'll be praying for you.
     
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  24. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Praying for you to get better, my man! We need our cranky Dan back!!! :D
     
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  25. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Today has been the worst in regards to pain and itching. My headache is less intense.

    I feel like something is underneath the skin on my face and trying to burst it's way out. The throbbing, burning, and itching are nearly unbearable.
     
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  26. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    Keep battling brother.
     
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  27. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    We feel for you brother; it will get better! You said yourself that the first 3-5 days off the meds were the worst and you're right in that zone now- you shouldn't have too much longer in this unbearable part. Hopefully you're getting some rest with some good pain pills- if I were you, I'd try to sleep until kickoff Sunday!
     
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  28. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's been a few days and I see you're posting/arguing more- does that mean you're starting to feel better?
     
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  29. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Today is the first day I feel OK. Mild discomfort. And my face is peeling, but for the most part looks like a bad sunburn. I could probably go out in public today and people would laugh thinking I feel asleep outside or something. Which is better than looking like I have a weird disease. lol
     
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  30. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Awesome! Glad you're past the worst of it and able to re-join society. =)

    When will you know if the treatments were 100% effective? I imagine the doctor needs a follow-up once everything heals to make sure you got it all.
     
  31. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm supposed to make an appointment once my face stops peeling.

    However, and even though it's still red and peeling in spots, my skin looks so much better. I mean, I really didn't realize the amount of sun damage I had, and frankly neither did my wife, but now that the damage seems to have been burned off it's looking good.
     
  32. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm happy to say that I am no longer in any pain. Just a little itchy, and my face looks 1000x's better. In fact, I went to the grocery last night and the cashier asked if I had been out in the sun and said I should "tan up nicely"...lol....I didn't tell her the truth. This is much better than the awkward look-and-quickly-glance-down-when-I-make-eye-contact people gave me over the last month. I now know what it must feel like for those unfortunate people who are disfigured. I always thought if I acted like I didn't notice I was being kind. Turns out, that just worsens the encounter. From now on I'm just going make eye contact and smile big and wide and not look down or away when I encounter someone with an ailment of any sort.


    Thanks for the prayers and well wishes.

    And remember! Always use your sunscreen!
     
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  33. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Wonderful news! Thanks be to God! My prayers are that this ends your ordeal once and for all!
     
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  34. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    That's awesome! Glad you're finally getting there and the worst has passed.
     
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  35. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's been another week- are you close to being back to normal? Have you had the follow-up yet?
     
  36. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    You can barely tell I had any treatments at all. My face is slightly red. So faint it doesn’t even look like a sunburn or anything. I have a follow up in about a week. It really sucked, but totally worth it. My wife said I look so young and my face is so smooth. Lol
     
  37. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Awesome, very good news!
     
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  38. ToddPhin

    ToddPhin RIP Phinsational Luxury Box Club Member

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    That's unfortunate.
     
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